1209-19 NY Times Crossword 9 Dec 19, Monday

Constructed by: Ellis Hay
Edited by: Will Shortz

Today’s Theme (according to Bill): The Right Colors

Themed answers each end with a color (in the plural):

  • 17A Sweet citrus fruits from Southern California : VALENCIA ORANGES
  • 26A Only N.F.L. team that doesn’t have a logo on its helmets : CLEVELAND BROWNS
  • 47A Some chickens : RHODE ISLAND REDS
  • 61A Hit 1980s cop show : HILL STREET BLUES

Read on, or jump to …
… a complete list of answers

Bill’s time: 4m 40s

Bill’s errors: 0

Today’s Wiki-est Amazonian Googlies

Across

1 The Mayflower had three of them : MASTS

Famously, the Mayflower was the ship that transported the Pilgrims from Plymouth, England to the New World in 1620. Most of the Pilgrims actually boarded the vessel on the River Thames in London. The Mayflower then anchored at Southampton Water on the south coast of England where she rendezvoused with another ship, the Speedwell, that was carrying English separatist Puritans from Holland. Both vessels set off for America, but eventually had to berth in Plymouth after the Speedwell started to leak. The Speedwell was in no condition to cross the Atlantic, and so the Mayflower ended up making the historic voyage alone.

6 Rocker Lofgren : NILS

The musician Nils Lofgren was a member of Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band for over 25 years. Lofgren provided vocals and played guitar, and was hired as the replacement for Steven Van Zandt.

14 Hawaiian greeting : ALOHA

The Hawaiian word “aloha” has many meanings in English: affection, love, peace, compassion and mercy. More recently, “aloha” has come to mean “hello” and “goodbye”, but only since the mid-1800s.

15 Grp. with many Mideast members : OPEC

The Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) was founded in 1960 at a conference held in Baghdad, Iraq that was attended by Iraq, Kuwait, Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela. Nine more countries joined the alliance soon after, and OPEC set up headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland and then Vienna, Austria in 1965. The basic aim of OPEC was to wrest control of oil prices from the oil companies and put it in the hands of the sovereign states that own the natural resource.

16 Outpouring from a volcano : LAVA

Our word “volcano” comes from “Vulcano”, the name of a volcanic island off the coast of Italy. The island’s name comes from Vulcan, the Roman god of fire. The Romans believed that the island of Vulcano was the chimney of the forge belonging to the god Vulcan. The Romans also believed that the eruptions on Mount Etna in Sicily were caused by Vulcan getting angry and working his forge so hard that sparks and smoke flew out of the top of the volcano.

17 Sweet citrus fruits from Southern California : VALENCIA ORANGES

Despite the name, the Valencia orange is a sweet orange hybrid that was developed in Southern California in the mid-1800s. Agronomist William Wofskill chose the name for his hybrid because Valencia, Spain was known for the regions sweet oranges. The new hybrid became so successful in Southern California that the name “Valencia” was given to a neighborhood in Santa Clarita.

25 Abba of Israel : EBAN

Abba Eban was an Israeli diplomat and politician. He was born Aubrey Solomon Meir Eban in Cape Town, South Africa. While working at the United Nations after WWII, Eban changed his given name to “Abba”, the Hebrew word for “father”. Reportedly, he made this change as Eban saw himself as the father of the nation of Israel.

26 Only N.F.L. team that doesn’t have a logo on its helmets : CLEVELAND BROWNS

The Cleveland Browns football team was a charter member of the All-American Football Conference, formed in 1946. Cleveland is the only NFL city that has never hosted nor sent a team to the Super Bowl. It’s also the only NFL team whose players have no logo on their helmets.

36 W.W. II zone that D.D.E. commanded : ETO

General Dwight D. Eisenhower (DDE) was in command of the European Theater of Operations (ETO) during WWII.

37 Completely enchanted : SMITTEN

“Smitten” is the past participle of “to smite”, meaning “to inflict a heavy blow”. We tend to use “smitten” to mean “affected by love, love-struck”.

41 The Cyclones of the Big 12 Conf. : ISU

Iowa State University of Science and Technology (ISU) is located in Ames, Iowa. Among many other notable milestones, ISU created the country’s first school of veterinary medicine, in 1879. The sports teams of ISU are known as the Cyclones.

47 Some chickens : RHODE ISLAND REDS

The Rhode Island Red is a breed of chicken that was developed in Rhode Island and Massachusetts from the Malay chicken, and as such, the new chickens were originally named Red Malays. The Rhode Island Red was made the state bird of Rhode Island in 1954.

52 Lover boy : BEAU

A beau (plural “beaux”) is the boyfriend of a belle, a young lady. “Beau” and “belle” are the masculine and feminine forms of the French word for “handsome, beautiful”.

53 “Quaking” trees : ASPENS

The “quaking” aspen tree is so called because the structure of the leaves causes them to move easily in the wind, to “tremble, quake”.

56 Nightly “NewsHour” presenter : PBS

“NewsHour” is the evening news program broadcast daily by PBS. The show started out as “The MacNeil/Lehrer Report” in 1975, and transitioned into the hour-long program “The NewsHour” in 1983. That transition made “NewsHour” the nation’s first hour-long nightly news broadcast.

57 Queen in Disney’s “Frozen” : ELSA

“Frozen” is a 2013 animated feature from Walt Disney Studios that is based on the Hans Christian Andersen fairy tale “The Snow Queen”. The film is all about the exploits of Princess Anna, the younger sister of Elsa, Snow Queen of Arendelle. Spoiler alert: Prince Hans of the Southern Isles seems to be a good guy for most of the film, but turns out to be a baddie in the end. And, a snowman named Olaf provides some comic relief.

61 Hit 1980s cop show : HILL STREET BLUES

As the sergeant on “Hill Street Blues” used to say, “Let’s be careful out there.”

64 Dutch town with a cheese named after it : EDAM

Edam cheese takes its name from the Dutch town of Edam in North Holland. The cheese is famous for its coating of red paraffin wax, a layer of protection that helps Edam travel well and prevents spoiling. You might occasionally come across an Edam cheese that is coated in black wax. The black color indicates that the underlying cheese has been aged for a minimum of 17 weeks.

66 Deity of Islam : ALLAH

The name “Allah” comes from the Arabic “al-” and “ilah”, meaning “the” and “deity”. So, “Allah” can be translated as “God”.

68 Shaggy beasts : YAKS

The English word “yak” is an Anglicized version of the Tibetan name for the male of the species. Yak milk is much prized in the Tibetan culture. It is made into cheese and butter, and the butter is used to make a tea that is consumed in great volume by Tibetans. The butter is also used as a fuel in lamps, and during festivals the butter is even sculpted into religious icons.

Down

1 Dallas N.B.A. team, informally : MAVS

The Mavericks (also “Mavs”) are the NBA franchise in Dallas, Texas. The team was founded in 1980, and the Mavericks name was chosen by fan votes. The choice of “Mavericks” was prompted by the fact that the actor James Garner was a part-owner of the team, and Garner of course played the title role in the “Maverick” television series.

2 Actor Alda : ALAN

Alan Alda has had a great television career, most notably as a lead actor in “M*A*S*H”. He was born Alphonso D’Abruzzo in the Bronx, New York City. Alda won his first Emmy in 1972, for playing surgeon Hawkeye Pierce on “M*A*S*H”. He also won an Emmy in 2006 for his portrayal of Presidential candidate Senator Arnold Vinick in “The West Wing”. When it comes to the big screen, my favorite of Alda’s movies is the 1978 romantic comedy “Same Time, Next Year” in which he starred opposite Ellen Burstyn.

3 Like Lindbergh’s 1927 flight to Paris : SOLO

Charles Lindbergh was the American pilot who made the first solo, non-stop flight across the Atlantic Ocean, a distance of nearly 3,600 miles. He won the accolades of a whole country for that feat, and was awarded the Medal of Honor (for which Lindbergh was eligible, as an Army Reserve officer). His new-found fame brought tragedy to his door, however, when a kidnapper took his infant son from his home in East Amwell, New Jersey. A ransom was paid in part, but the child was never returned, and was found dead a few weeks later. It was as a result of this case that Congress made kidnapping a federal offence should there be any aspect of the crime that crosses a state line.

5 ___ Rafael, Calif. : SAN

San Rafael is the county seat of Marin County in the North San Francisco Bay. Like many cities in California, San Rafael owes its name to a Spanish mission, Mission San Rafael Arcángel.

7 Apple tablet : IPAD

Tablet computers are like a cross between a laptop and a smartphone. Tablets differ from laptops in that they usually have fewer input/output capabilities. They differ from smartphones in that they are larger, and often lack access to a cellular network. We got our first real glimpse of the tablet computing concept in the 1968 movie “2001: A Space Odyssey”. The first really successful tablet computer was Apple’s iPad, which was released not in 2001, but in 2010.

8 Sign before Virgo : LEO

Leo is the fifth astrological sign of the Zodiac. People born from July 23 to August 22 are Leos.

10 Weather phenomena from the Pacific : EL NINOS

When the surface temperature of much of the Pacific Ocean rises more than half a degree centigrade, then there is said to be an El Niño episode. That small temperature change in the Pacific has been associated with climatic changes that can stretch right across the globe. El Niño is Spanish for “the boy” and is a reference to the Christ child. The phenomenon was given this particular Spanish name because the warming is usually noticed near South America and around Christmas-time.

12 Currier and ___ : IVES

Currier and Ives was a printmaking concern in New York City run by Nathaniel Currier and his partner James Merritt Ives from 1834 to 1907. The firm specialized in making affordable, hand-colored black and white lithographs.

19 Rent-___ (Hertz or Avis) : A-CAR

The Hertz car rental company was started in 1918 by Walter L. Jacobs in Chicago. He began with just twelve model T Ford cars available for rent. In 1923, the car rental operation was bought out by John D. Hertz who incorporated it into his truck and coach manufacturing company.

Rental car company Avis used the tagline “We Try Harder” for five decades, starting in the early 1960s. The slogan had its roots in a 1962 ad campaign in which the company made brilliant use of its position behind market leader Hertz. The first rendition of the new tagline was “When you’re only No. 2, you try harder. Or else”. Within a year, Avis turned its first profit in over a decade, and within three years, increased the company’s market share from 29% to 36%. Avis eventually moved on to the slogan “It’s Your Space” in 2012.

30 “___ Christmas” (holiday song) : WHITE

“White Christmas” is a song composed by Irving Berlin. The famous 1942 recording of “White Christmas” by Bing Crosby has sold more than 50 million copies worldwide, making it the best-selling single of all time.

32 Taters : SPUDS

The word “spud” is used as a slang term for a potato and was first recorded in the mid-1800s, in New Zealand would you believe?

38 Chief support : MAINSTAY

Figuratively, a mainstay is a person or object that is the main support or main part. Literally, the mainstay is the main line supporting a nautical vessel’s main mast, the main line holding the mast erect.

40 Zilch : NADA

“Nada” is the Spanish word for “nothing”.

We use the term “zilch” to mean “nothing”. Our current usage evolved in the sixties, before which the term was used to describe “meaningless speech”. There was a comic character called Mr. Zilch in the 1930s in “Ballyhoo” magazine. Mr. Zilch’s name probably came from the American college slang “Joe Zilch” that was used in the early 1900s for “an insignificant person”.

43 Actor who played Andy Bernard on “The Office” : ED HELMS

Comedic actor Ed Helms got his big break in television on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show”, after which he joined the cast of “The Office”. Helms is now making a name for himself on the big screen. Notably, he co-stars in “The Hangover” series of films.

46 ___ De Vil, “101 Dalmatians” role : CRUELLA

Cruella de Vil is the villain in the 1956 novel “The Hundred and One Dalmatians” written by Dodie Smith. Most famously perhaps, Cruella was played so ably by Glenn Close in the Disney movie adaption “101 Dalmatians”, released in 1996.

48 Earth’s longest time divisions, geologically : EONS

Geological time is divided into a number of units of varying lengths. These are, starting from the largest:

  • supereon
  • eon (also “aeon”)
  • era
  • period
  • epoch
  • age

55 Blueprint : PLAN

Blueprints are reproductions of technical or architectural drawings that are contact prints made on light-sensitive sheets. Blueprints were introduced in the 1800s and the technology available dictated that the drawings were reproduced with white lines on a blue background, hence the name “blue-print”.

62 Small inlet : RIA

A drowned valley might be called a ria or a fjord, and both are formed as sea levels rise. A ria is a drowned valley created by river erosion, and a fjord is a drowned valley created by glaciation.

63 What a priest, a minister and a rabbi might walk into : BAR

A rabbi, a priest and a duck walk into a bar, and the bartender says, “What is this? A joke?”

Complete List of Clues/Answers

Across

1 The Mayflower had three of them : MASTS
6 Rocker Lofgren : NILS
10 Story of heroes : EPIC
14 Hawaiian greeting : ALOHA
15 Grp. with many Mideast members : OPEC
16 Outpouring from a volcano : LAVA
17 Sweet citrus fruits from Southern California : VALENCIA ORANGES
20 Winter Olympics need : SNOW
21 Tack on : ADD
22 Most frigid : ICIEST
23 ___-bodied : ABLE
25 Abba of Israel : EBAN
26 Only N.F.L. team that doesn’t have a logo on its helmets : CLEVELAND BROWNS
33 Tied, as shoes : LACED
34 Be under the weather : AIL
35 “___ till you drop” : SHOP
36 W.W. II zone that D.D.E. commanded : ETO
37 Completely enchanted : SMITTEN
41 The Cyclones of the Big 12 Conf. : ISU
42 Pimply outbreak : ACNE
44 Like some batteries and baseball leagues : AAA
45 Did something : ACTED
47 Some chickens : RHODE ISLAND REDS
51 Angry driver’s signal : HONK!
52 Lover boy : BEAU
53 “Quaking” trees : ASPENS
56 Nightly “NewsHour” presenter : PBS
57 Queen in Disney’s “Frozen” : ELSA
61 Hit 1980s cop show : HILL STREET BLUES
64 Dutch town with a cheese named after it : EDAM
65 Light and open : AIRY
66 Deity of Islam : ALLAH
67 Store department with jackets and ties : MEN’S
68 Shaggy beasts : YAKS
69 Come from behind, in scoring : RALLY

Down

1 Dallas N.B.A. team, informally : MAVS
2 Actor Alda : ALAN
3 Like Lindbergh’s 1927 flight to Paris : SOLO
4 Crowd activity at a stadium : THE WAVE
5 ___ Rafael, Calif. : SAN
6 “Who knows?!” : NO IDEA!
7 Apple tablet : IPAD
8 Sign before Virgo : LEO
9 Write quickly and none too carefully : SCRIBBLE
10 Weather phenomena from the Pacific : EL NINOS
11 “Doctor Jones, you’re needed at the front desk,” e.g. : PAGE
12 Currier and ___ : IVES
13 Group of actors : CAST
18 Dial on a telephone : CALL
19 Rent-___ (Hertz or Avis) : A-CAR
24 Hotel units : BEDS
25 Polish, as text : EDIT
26 Unambiguous : CLEAR
27 Gate fastener : LATCH
28 Cheap, in commercial names : ECONO
29 Birth-related : NATAL
30 “___ Christmas” (holiday song) : WHITE
31 Edged (out) : NOSED
32 Taters : SPUDS
38 Chief support : MAINSTAY
39 “Can ___ you a question?” : I ASK
40 Zilch : NADA
43 Actor who played Andy Bernard on “The Office” : ED HELMS
46 ___ De Vil, “101 Dalmatians” role : CRUELLA
48 Earth’s longest time divisions, geologically : EONS
49 Homes for nuns : ABBEYS
50 Hatchlings’ home : NEST
53 *cough, cough* : AHEM
54 Point of view, as in an argument : SIDE
55 Blueprint : PLAN
56 Employee’s reserved parking space, for one : PERK
58 Brief down period : LULL
59 Circus animal with flippers : SEAL
60 Wan : ASHY
62 Small inlet : RIA
63 What a priest, a minister and a rabbi might walk into : BAR

15 thoughts on “1209-19 NY Times Crossword 9 Dec 19, Monday”

  1. 6:03 Whaaaaat? Me? And I caught onto the theme while solving? It has to be a Monday… I’m still recovering from Saturday’s torture, heading back to do Sunday’s now….

  2. FYI: Iowa State University is also the first electronic digital computer. (1939-1942) by John V. Atanasoff. He is considered the father of the computer.

  3. One time I laid out hard-earned money for a unit of red wax coated EDAM cheese. As I peeled off the wax, I saw that the red coloring from the wax had leeched into the cheese itself. I suspected (and still do) that the “red” is artificial coloring. Yuck! Why go to all the trouble to make a good cheese and then spoil it with artificial dye? I haven’t bought any since.

  4. 6:50, no errors. Monday speed test.

    One of the major reasons I enjoy coming to this blog is to read the comments from @Bill and other posters; they often send me off to do additional research. @Anonymous’ suspicion about EDAM cheese sent me to the ‘almighty Google’. Red cheese wax is made from paraffin and red dye. Red Dye #40, an artificial dye, seems to be common. For some reason natural red coloring (red dye #4, made from cochineal insects) doesn’t seem to be used. Paraffin is an artificial, hydrocarbon based wax refined from crude oil, coal tar, etc. Personally, if I were concerned about ‘artificial’, I would be more concerned that the cheese is coated with paraffin than the paraffin is red.

    1. Thank you, BruceB, for this information. I had tried but failed to find this out on my own. I indeed found out about the paraffin but could not find the source of the red (and, I suppose, the black also) coloring. I knew pretty well that that intense of a red did not exist in nature. Maybe the good people of Edam, Netherlands will get the message that some people are turned off by these practices and find a better way to market their otherwise fine cheese.

  5. This was a good puzzle. Anytime you can shoehorn CLEVELAND BROWNS and VALENCIA ORANGES into a grid and make it work, you’re onto something.

  6. A spanner (VALENCIA ORANGES), a rocker (NILS), and an actor (ED HELMS) helped by crosses. Neat theme, clean fill. Enjoyed it.

  7. Much too late I suppose, but an apt logo for the Cleveland Browns might be a cartoon of Charlie Brown *successfully* kicking the football.

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